If you follow me on Facebook, you may already know about my water challenge. If not, it all began with an article I read about a British woman who, after suffering with health problems for years, decided to try drinking a gallon of water a day for 30 days.
I decided to challenge myself to drink a gallon of water everyday for four weeks. And although the woman in the article claimed to have lost wrinkles, weight and even digestive issues, I have no idea if any of that is true. But really, that's not the point, is it? The truth is, I KNOW that drinking enough water is a good thing... for everyone! So why not try?
When I first told people about my water challenge, I got two main responses:
1) Can't that kill you?
2) I'm sure I should probably drink more water
To the first point, while drinking too much water can kill you, it doesn't happen accidentally. Most cases of hyponatremia occur when too much water is consumed in a short period of time (like 1-2 gallons within just an hour), as in hazing or contests.
To the second point, I think this is probably true for just about anybody. A good estimation for the right amount of water for YOU to drink is to take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. That number, in ounces, is a great starting point. I weigh 140 lbs. these days, meaning I should drink about 70 ounces (or just under 9 cups) of water each day. And that does not include days when I might need more hydration, like when I exercise.
To keep this in perspective, one gallon is 128 ounces. This can sometimes feel like an overwhelming amount, but if you stretch it out throughout the day (as you should), it is quite doable. I keep with me all day a water bottle that holds 32 ounces. That means that if I fill and drink it just four times, I have already hit my goal.
Although it has already been more than four weeks since I started my challenge, I am extending it. Holiday travels threw me off (especially the days when I was flying). But I have already noticed some benefits:
My skin isn't nearly as dry this winter as in past years
I don't need to snack as much. (We often confuse thirst for hunger, making us grab food when what our bodies really want is agua!)
I actually like water!! (This is a big one for me, since I'm one of thos people who don't enjoy water for whatever reason.)
Stay tuned for more updates on what I've noticed after my (extended) challenge finishes. But honestly, I get the feeling that this is a long-term change... for the good!